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A really good day!


avantgardener

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It's been a very busy week, with lots of adjustments for everyone. Larry had some good days and some bad days. He did well overall though, and does seem to be adjusting to Cecilia being here. Having Judy (Larry's sister) in the house for the first few days was wonderful - she was able to watch over everything, get Cecilia oriented, take Larry to his appointment for the transit service evaluation, and just generally be a lifesaver every day. Not to mention totally spoiling us with gourmet meals every night. The Long Beach Trader Joe's profit margins are going to go way down now that she's back home - they are probably still wondering what happened!

Larry still has a lot of trouble communicating, and sometimes it's impossible to figure out what he wants. Of course that frustrates him and makes him angry, and at times he will lash out at whoever happens to be in the room. Cecilia had a tough time with him the first few days, since she is the one providing most of his care and so has to cope with it when he gets angry. A lot of times it's not rational - this morning, for example, he wanted to shave with a "real" razor, not the new electric one that we bought when he was in the SNF, but then he got upset about the razor I brought him. It's the exact same kind he has always used, and it was a total mystery to me what the problem was, until I went and got his travel toiletries kit - he pulled the razor out of there and it had the little plastic blade protector on it. The one I handed him didn't, because I had already taken it off. Once he had taken off the plastic himself he was fine. Stuff like that happens all the time, but Cecilia does seem like she's getting the hang of it, and learning that sometimes she just needs to walk away from it for a few minutes and give them both some breathing space. In the meantime, she prepares his meals, has re-organized my cabinets, does the laundry, manages his schedule, organizes his medications and keeps a meticulous notebook of everything that he does during the day. She's on time every day (usually early), and is very caring and concerned about doing a good job. I already feel like she's part of the family.

Larry and I had a great day today. He was in a good mood and really happy that I was home and that we could spend the day together. I had a whole list of chores that I was going to take care of, but ended up not doing any of them and spending the time with Larry instead. His routine care takes a lot of time - getting him up, and dressed, and taking care of his personal needs (see shaving, above), and in/out of the chair; before I know it the day is over. I gave him a shower today, which was interesting. Since his bathroom is under construction and not useable right now, I used the lift to get him into the shower chair that I bought, and then took him in the backyard and ran a hose from the garage utility sink (which has hot and cold water) to the chair. I was able to use a gardening hose attachment to give him a pretty good shower, but it wasn't easy for either of us. The chair I bought is not only too small, but whoever assembled it did it backwards and the foot support bar is on the back of the chair instead of the front. Also, the wheel locks do not work properly and come unlocked by themselves. I will have to take it back to the medical supply store next week and get something bigger and sturdier. We managed anyway, and he was fairly tolerant throughout, but I was pretty frazzled by the time we were done.

In the evening we took a walk over to Target and did some shopping together. It was a really nice outing for both of us; we're lucky there is a lot within walking distance of the house. Trader Joe's, a couple of clothing stores, half a dozen restaurants, Circuit City, Sears - lots of things to do, so that we don't have to feel quite so home bound. Larry seemed to really enjoy the walk. He was singing to me (humming, I guess you would call it) while we walked down the street, and smiling, and had fun picking things off the shelf at Target and sneaking them into the shopping basket. We came home and had a nice dinner (Judy leftovers - mmmm!), and then called it a day.

The contractors did not get a whole lot done last week. They're finishing up another job, so they were only working about half a day each day. They're coming tomorrow to make up for some of the last time, and promised to step up the pace next week, but clearly it is going to be more than 10 days to complete the bath remodel. And the project keeps growing, of course - Eric calls it the "might as wells": While they're there, they "might as well' do this...and that...and pretty soon it's twice the job it was to start with. Tomorrow they'll start tearing up the old floor in Larry's room and the computer room so that they can get ready to lay the laminate and tile floors next week. Despite the slow pace I'm very happy with them, and it will be great when it's all done.

So, things are pretty good. There are some rough moments, but I'm able to work, and manage things at home in the evenings and on weekends, and I feel like Larry's doing well. Just not having to deal with the nursing home anymore is so great - they sent us a "customer satisfaction" survey, and I know that is going to be FUN to fill out!!

-Janine

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Janine, I have been showering Ray for a while now and never come out of the shower room completely dry, always manage to splash myself somehow. We had the shower room purpose built after Ray broke his pelvis last January and could no longer manage to shower himself. I'm really glad we had it done as the shower cubicle in our old bathroom would have been impossible with both of us in it.

 

I'm happy to know you had a good day together, it is good when you have some ordinary couples time and don't reall HAVE TO do anything. But you do have to catch up with the jobs left undone sooner or later. You'll find this week coming has some extras in it and you may feel pressuered. Just try and turn that feeling off if you can.

 

I'm glad to hear Cecilia is working out. Judy certainly sounds a treasure and I'm pleased she found the way to ease the pressure off you for a while.

 

Sue.

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Hi Janine,

 

You sound so relaxed and happy. Good for you.

 

Will Larry be getting speech therapy? It will be easier when he has a better way to communicate.

 

And like Sue, I am happy Cecelia is working out as having a competent caregiver is essential. I was so fortunate to find my Misti.

 

Keep up the good work.

 

Vi

 

PS. I'm listening to the Bill Miller Show on the radio. He plays music from the 40s and 50s and it makes me want to dance. LOL

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Larry's ST is outpatient only, and he still needs to get the approval for the transit service before he can get there. I learned that Kaiser has not had a speech therapist on their home care staff for 3 years now because they're "unable" to find one. Which just means they can't find someone cheap enough. Meanwhile, I'm working with him as best I can, but he does not like working with me and I'm no substitute for a trained professional. The OT and PT are in-home for 4 weeks, then revert to outpatient as well. It will be good for Larry to get out of the house, I guess.

 

Vi, enjoy your dancing...none of us do enough of it!

 

-Janine

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Janice,

 

I'm happy things are falling into place for you with Larry at home and it it working out well with Cecilia.

 

It's great that you have even gotten out and about a bit. At this rate you guys should probably be able to make the trek to Radio City for the Christmas show - rumor has it Vi is on the line of this year's Rockettes.

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Janine,

 

Glad to hear all is well on the home front with you and Larry. Glad to hear Cecilia is working out as well and you and Larry got to out for a walk and enjoy yourselves.

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Cecilia just called and said that Larry is in the garage and does not want to come out. He's pretty interested in all the construction going on, and likes hanging around with the guys to see what they are doing. They came by yesterday and worked all afternoon, and afterwords they were sitting in our back yard cooling off and Larry sat with them for a while. I think he has had about enough of women fussing and hovering over him!

 

I told Cecilia to just leave him alone and check on him every so often. The guys seem to like having him around and don't seem to feel like he's in their way, and I'm glad they're asking him questions and including him in the process. It sure beats laying in bed and wondering what is going on.

 

-Janine

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Janice,

Sounds good to me...kind of socializing a bit, keeping his mind occupied for a while, and gives him a sense of independence ~ something he can do by himself - just sit hang out and bs a bit as you said without being fussed and hovered over. Cool

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hey Janine:

 

by the time I came from my vacation the whole world has changed for you. Larry is home already, and you are handling it all well with your new hired help. I hope and wish all better days for you ahead.

 

Asha

 

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